photo courtesy of Maura DeNicola Packed Freeholder Meeting Room for the State of the County. — at One Bergen County Plaza
BY TODD SOUTH
STAFF WRITER |
HACKENSACK — Bergen County Executive James Tedesco on Tuesday delivered his state of the county address, using the annual recounting of his administration’s accomplishments and plans to signal that the 2016 budget cycle will be tougher than its predecessor and that a tax increase is possible for 2016.
Employee health-care cost increases of $12 million and $3.4 million more for debt service on the largest construction project in county history will drive decisions on how to maintain services that Tedesco praised in his hour-long speech to a crowd of more than 100 mostly county employees and political office holders at the Bergen County Administration Building.
The combined $15.4 million increase for those two items alone is more than two thirds of the $22.6 million spending hike in the 2015 budget, which resulted in a 4.3 percent tax increase for property owners. Last year’s county budget totaled $530 million.